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Iraq's Sunni Arab Ministers Raise New Objections to Constitution's Text


Agreement on the wording of Iraq's permanent constitution faltered again Saturday when five Sunni Arab ministers presented new demands.

The ministers, who are not part of the drafting committee, voiced objections to 13 provisions in the current draft.

U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad met with Iraq's parliament speaker in an effort to help the groups reach a consensus. The speaker, Hajim al-Hassani, also met with Sunni Arab delegates.

Shi'ites and Kurds hold the majority of seats in Iraq's parliament. Their leaders say they will not make any more concessions and will send the draft to parliament Sunday with or without Sunni Arab approval.

Ultimately, it will be the Iraqi people who will decide whether to accept or reject the draft constitution, when they cast their vote in a national referendum on October 15.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.

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